U.S. Department of Commerce invests $2 million in CU-ICAR incubator
WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Wednesday announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2 million grant to build the Research One building at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR).
The Research One building will provide space for private-public partnerships focused on developing new technologies in the automotive, mobility and IT fields, supporting the intersection of productivity, innovation and entrepreneurship.
“For the first time, through our ‘Open for Business Agenda,’ the Commerce Department is focused on ensuring that America has a strong and skilled workforce, which is critical to our economic competitiveness,” said Secretary Pritzker. “I witnessed firsthand the public-private collaboration to research cutting-edge technologies and provide industry-driven training for students when visiting CU-ICAR’s campus earlier this year. The EDA grant announced today will expand the work conducted at CU-ICAR – a great example of how South Carolina is using innovation to cultivate a workforce with the needed skills to succeed.”
“CU-ICAR is an excellent example of what higher education, government and industry can accomplish when they work together,” Clemson President James P. Clements said. “This grant will strengthen those bonds. Research One will be a world-class facility. It will be a place for students to get a highly relevant education on the latest in automotive research and for industry to get fresh ideas from our students.”
Fred Cartwright, executive director of CU-ICAR, said, “This grant is terrific news for the growth of CU-ICAR, our automotive engineering program and the state’s auto industry. It puts us a step closer to building Research One. We greatly appreciate the support from the Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Administration and look forward to continuing this valuable partnership into the future.”
The new building will sit adjacent to the CU-ICAR Center for Emerging Technologies, which EDA supported through a $3 million investment in 2009. The facility helps complete the technology chain from laboratory to the consumer end-user by providing the office and lab space that companies need to develop new technologies in the automotive, mobility and energy fields.
The Research One building will create 220 jobs and generate $2.6 million in private investment at the outset.
“This grant puts CU-ICAR’s cutting-edge research and world-class education in the spotlight,” said Clemson’s vice president for economic development, John Ballato. “It affirms that Clemson is playing a leading role in the nation’s manufacturing revival. When people in industry talk, we’re listening. We’re responding by creating the top-notch programs that prepare future employees with the skills they will need.”